Keeping Healthy in Winter

health care awareness

It’s the dead of winter, which means different things to Concorde campuses when it comes to health care awareness. Our campus in Jacksonville, Fla. was hammered by bomb cyclone Grayson a couple weeks back. Texas has been frigid – at least for them – and Kansas City and Aurora, Colo. have been downright arctic. California? Eh, not so much. It’s California, and it’s always sunny and warm.

But, since we’re in the thick of the season, and most of us are cold, we thought it would be a good time to raise health care awareness with patients about how to stay healthy during the winter months. The American Association for Respiratory Care recently published a list of five tips to tell your patients to keep them health this winter.

Here is what that article had to say.

Raising health care awareness about winter health

The winter months can be dangerous for people with chronic respiratory conditions like COPD and asthma. But many patients aren’t really sure how to protect themselves from cold weather perils like colds and the flu.

Respiratory therapists can be great resources for these folks. Krystal Craddock, BSRC, RRT-NPS, AE-C, CCM, COPD case management coordinator and RT clinical education and QI coordinator in the department of respiratory care at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, Calif., came up with the following tips you can use to elevate your health care awareness during this time.

  1. Wash your hands. Infection is spread by dirty hands. When people touch dirty surfaces, then touch their face, it can cause an upper respiratory infection that can be dangerous for people with chronic lung conditions. Washing hands is the easiest way to prevent the spread of infection.
  2. Get your flu and pneumonia vaccines. Contracting flu or pneumonia can be costly, dangerous and cause missed time at school, work and other events. Protect you and your family by talking to your doctor to assure you are up to date on your vaccinations.
  3. Get a good night’s rest. Sleep is key to staying healthy, but it must be effective sleep. Be sure to use a CPAP or BiPAP device if prescribed, set a bedtime and limit distractions and use of technology right before going to sleep.
  4. Walking, light weightlifting and yoga are great ways of increasing your endurance and energy level.
  5. Take your medications as prescribed. It is important to take your medications as directed by your doctor, even if you’re feeling well. When you are prescribed medications to treat chronic medical conditions, you might not feel the effects immediately, but they are working to keep your body healthy.

A health care awareness framework for success

Use Craddock’s tips as a framework for the discussions you have with your chronic respiratory patients in the hospital, outpatient setting and the home. They’ll appreciate the advice, and they’ll remember that it was a respiratory therapist who took the time to counsel them on how to stay as healthy as possible this winter season.

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